For the past three years, the City of Cape Town has made a concerted effort to ensure the success of the annual Minstrel Carnival in terms of planning and implementation.
The City’s relationship with the minstrel organisations has been strengthened as a result of efforts to revive and rejuvenate the historic and cultural significance of the Minstrel, Malay Choir and Christmas Band events.
Since 2011 there have been ongoing discussions to ensure the continued success of the event and establish the best model for the planning, management and hosting of the annual Minstrel Carnival in a compliant and responsible manner.
Today a milestone has been reached in this journey with the signing of a historic agreement between the City of Cape Town and the newly formed Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee.
An agreement has been reached well ahead of the festive season to ensure that everyone is well prepared and that there are no last-minute hassles.
The Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee consists of representatives of the Minstrels, Malay Choirs and Christmas Bands responsible for organising events at various venues throughout the city.
These events start with the annual Minstrels Carnival during the festive season and end in April when the final competitions are held.
They are a highlight for many communities in Cape Town, and people come out in their thousands to watch the annual road marches and parades.
In terms of this new agreement, the Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee will be the event organiser.
The City will provide financial and logistical support to ensure that the events are properly managed in the best interests of the minstrels, spectators (both local and international) and the city as a whole.
This year the City will provide R2 million in funding to the committee to organise the various events.
This will go toward toilets, fencing, security, safety, medical services, logistics and public relations, to be arranged by the Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee.
These funds will be released to the Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee for the Minstrels, Malay Choirs and Christmas Bands and carnival events for 2014/2015.
The City will also make an additional contribution of R1,65 million, to be allocated to City services.
This funding will be used to waive venue rental and poster fees; for traffic signage and parking bays; to provide generators and waste management; for City Traffic Services, Metro Police, Law Enforcement, Disaster Risk Management and Fire and Rescue Services; and any other internal costs for which the City is legislatively responsible and which cannot be outsourced to the committee.
Funding provided by the City for this financial year therefore totals R3,65 million.
These funds will be disbursed and managed in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
The Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee will implement effective, efficient and transparent financial management and internal control systems to guard against fraud, theft and financial mismanagement to ensure that funding is utilised for its intended use as outlined in the agreement.
The City will monitor and evaluate the Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee’s performance under this agreement. The Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee must also provide the City with a full event report by March 2015.
Every year the Minstrels, Christmas Bands and Malay Choirs attract thousands of spectators.
These events are not only significant as festive and colourful celebrations, but also for the role they play in contributing to the local economy and creating jobs.
The largest road parade is the Minstrel Carnival, which takes place annually on January 2, also known as Tweede Nuwe Jaar.
As many as 13000 minstrels take part in this event, dressed in their colourful costumes and playing an array of instruments.